Vigilance required as bogus Revenue officials trawl for bank data

Gardaí warn public to be wary of fraudsters on the prowl seeking sensitive financial data

Revenue officials will not ask a customer to supply personal details over the phone, by text or email, said a Garda spokesman. File photograph: Getty

Revenue officials will not ask a customer to supply personal details over the phone, by text or email, said a Garda spokesman. File photograph: Getty

 

The public have been warned to be wary of a scam where criminals posing as Revenue officials contact unsuspecting people in order to obtain their bank account details.

The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau issued the alert. The bureau said that as part of the fraud people receive calls, texts or emails from crooks claiming to work for the Revenue Commissioners. The fraudsters then attempt to get bank account details or other personal data from the target.

The bureau said the current scam is similar to previous efforts and targets will receive a phone call from what appears to be a 051 Waterford landline number.

The caller then attempts to acquire personal information or bank account details by way of several excuses. These can include insisting the target is due a tax refund, or a pressing need to pay an overdue tax bill in order to avoid criminal prosecution.

“The Revenue scam in the past has also used both email and text message as a way of contacting potential victims, this will undoubtedly occur again this time,” said a Garda spokesman.

The bureau has advised people to never divulge details such as credit or debit card numbers, bank account details, or PPS numbers, to anyone who makes unsolicited contact by phone or email.

“An Garda Síochána, Revenue, nor any financial institution will never call you and ask for your PPS number or bank account details,” said the Garda spokesman.

What to do if contacted

Revenue officials will not ask a customer to supply personal details over the phone, by text or email, he added.

“If you receive such a call, just hang up. Do not engage in conversation with them as they can be very persuasive,” said the spokesman.

Gardaí said anyone who believes they have fallen victim to the scam should contact their bank and credit card company, as well as reporting the matter to their local Garda station.